Here is a Longmorn bottled a while ago by James MacArthur, an established indie. I’m not sure if their availability in the US has been uninterrupted. This bottle is from 2007, as are two more bought at the same time, but I don’t recall any since prior to the big splash they made a year or two ago. If you know if they’ve been here but quiet the whole time or if like Cadenhead’s they exited and then re-entered, please write in below.
This bottle (and a Bowmore and a Caol Ila) were split three ways with Michael Kravitz of Diving For Pearls and Florin, who fights crime up and down the Pacific Coast by night, all the while keeping up appearances as a rodeo clown in the greater Barstow area. This review is being posted simultaneously with Michael’s (link forthcoming as soon as I have woken up and found it: and here it is). This is, in fact, the first of five simultaneous reviews, all to be posted on Friday mornings. As usual we have not discussed the whisky or our notes ahead of time. Let’s see what we both think.
This cask seems to have been split with half being bottled for the US market and half for a whisky festival in Italy (both by James MacArthur).
Longmorn 15, 1992 (59.5%; James MacArthur; single sherry cask #62553; from a bottle split with friends)
Nose: Butter, brown butter, light maple syrup. Bananas, baked apple pastry, some polished wood and a touch of honey. Gets sweeter as it sits and more honeyed as well. Not a whole lot of change with water–maybe a little pine resin.
Palate: Hot but surprisingly drinkable. Very much as on the nose, except the sweetness arrives faster and there’s more rich malt here and the wood is toasted rather than polished. Really quite lovely. Water makes it brighter and spicier and there’s some pepper too now.
Finish: Long. The wood gets more assertive and spicy and presents a nice counterpoint to what’s gone before. With water there’s less of a transition from the palate to the finish. The pine resin from the nose shows up here too and there’s also a lingering roasted malty thing on the sides of my tongue.
Comments: I am a little disappointed that water didn’t pull out any tropical fruit notes. I wonder if they might develop as the bottle gets some air; or maybe I didn’t get the balance of water just right. Still, this is quite good. Obviously a refill cask–this is very far from a sherry bomb.
Rating: 87 points.